To further boost Ilocos Norte’s tourism campaign, Paoay Kumakaway!, the history-bound Marcos Trail was reintroduced with a new heritage walk situated in Sarrat on September 11 .
As part of the weeklong celebration for the 96th birthday of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos dubbed as “Marcos Fiesta”, the 1-kilometer “Sarrat Heritage Walk” was launched, comprising of 7 stops, each featuring a time-sculpted infrastructure resounding the 18th-century Sarrat—from the earliest settlers, to the Spanish regime, and noted government officials up to the Marcos-Edralin families.
Included in the walk are the Sarrat House Museum, originally FEM’s birthplace, the new municipal hall, the old municipal hall, Sta. Monica parish church, the Diocesan Museum, Sarrat Central Elementary School, and the Amparo Park or the Sta. Monica Riverview Deck.
The first stop, the Sarrat House Museum, is the birthplace and the home for the young Ferdinand E. Marcos or “Andy” as his relatives, friends and the rest of Ilocanos would call him until he was in first grade.
Inside the Spartan dwelling are memorabilia, and age-old wooden furniture which depict the typical lifestyle of the Edralin family, all curated by Professor Erik Zerudo.
The new municipal hall formerly Irene’s Guesthouse is a two-storey Spanish-type building restored to house Sarrat’s local government after it was donated by the Marcos family in 1997.
In the third stop, the old municipal hall, the town of Sarrat’s monumental placement as the first capital of the Province of Ilocos Norte as well as the lost mecca of the pre-Spanish Ilocandia were reinstated.
With Catholicism in the province having Augustinian roots, the walk also includes the Santa Monica Parish Church, the largest Spanish-built church in Ilocos Norte and the Diocesan Museum, formerly the convent which also once served as the municipal hall, a school annex, and the hall of justice—a perfect example of how the church and state fused during the Spanish era.
Sarrat Central Elementary School of which FEM was a former student is also included, with it unraveling its own history as the municipal hall during the 17th century.
Amparo Park, a vista that offers the best vantage of the Padsan River, features the ingenious underground tunnel which served as food and supplies delivery system of the Spanish friars and illustrados and eventually, a hiding place and escape route by guerillas, completes the seven stop which is now part of the Marcos Trail, the most popular tour among visitors in Ilocos Norte.
This event was graced by the Marcos family, particularly Governor Imee R. Marcos, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and Irene Marcos-Araneta, government officials, the people of Sarrat and other visitors across the province.
“Maraming nakipag-ambag-ambag…lahat ay nakiisa para naman mabuo itong ating Heritage Walk,” Marcos said, pinpointing the Sarrat Heritage Walk as a collaborative effort among the Marcos family, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte, local government units, the local chapter of the Catholic Church, residents and other organizations which recognize the national importance of preserving historical and cultural landmarks.(With report by Grazielle Mae A. Sales /PGIN-CMO)